September 12th, 2014

Some fear is helpful as it can give courage to overcome a challenge (think survival). Unfortunately, most of us experience the other kind of fear, the kind that can overwhelm and cause us to withdraw, leaving us paralyzed to the point that we are unable to act when we should. It is the fear of something bad happening, of being rejected, or worse yet, of failure. Living in a culture obsessed with performance, success, winning, making the top grade, fitting in, and handling it all means that failure is only one bad grade, comment, or social-media post away. And these are only a few of the fears that lie beneath the cool teen exteriors.

Fear Factors

One of the keys to managing our fears is knowing which ones are worthy of a fight or a flight response—and which ones are not. Problems arise when we allow small fears to build up over time. These are the sort of fears that often play out as reality and talk-show topics. Some people become afraid of living their lives or trying new things. But there is hope: Fear can be managed with practice.

However, managing fear may not be as easy for some as for others. Many people carry fears throughout their lives and even protect the wounds the fears have caused. A strong, loving, Christ-centered community of faith can be a safe place where the fearful can find peace. Christian counselors, friends, and caring adults provide compassionate support. With God’s help and the practice of Christian disciplines, peace can be experienced in the midst of dark times. Our personal relationship with God is our single, most powerful tool in dealing with our fears. That relationship grows through daily conversation with God, reflection on the Scriptures, and following where Jesus leads us each day.

My Peace

When Jesus told his disciples what was about to happen to him, they were likely confused, afraid, sad, and shocked. To comfort them Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27). Those who kept their faith close, cared for one another through their grief, and believed in all that Jesus said, including his resurrection, saw their fears wiped away that first Easter morning. That same peace is available to us today no matter what we face in life or what we fear. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are waiting for us to loosen the grip on our fears just enough to see God’s plan and begin to experience God’s peace while facing our fears together.

Question of the Day: What are you afraid of?

Focal Scriptures: Esther 4:10-17; Matthew 26:69-75; Joshua 6:1-12.

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC here!

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